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SoxProspects News

July 26, 2017 at 8:00 AM

2017 Annual Donation Drive - Help Keep SoxProspects Up & Running!

Dear readers,

We're asking for your help to raise $10,000 to keep SoxProspects.com up and running for another year. We have kept the site 100% free for almost 14 years now, and we hope to do so for the foreseeable future. As we scout dozens of games first-hand each year, travel costs pile up. Our other costs to run the site often go up on an annual basis as well, and our ad revenue only covers a portion of those costs. So we're reaching out to the community for donations to help us keep the site going. Donations help cover site costs in two primary areas: (1) first-hand coverage travel costs for scouting and player columns; and (2) general IT costs (hardware, software, internet costs, hosting fees, etc.).

Your donations help us travel to Fort Myers in March to cover spring training and in the fall to cover the Instructional League each year, which are vital to get “one-stop shopping” for prospects across the system at levels we can’t see regularly. They also help cover the costs of travelling to affiliate games for regular first-hand coverage. We anticipate that our total costs could approach $20,000 in 2017. While we may cover roughly half that from online advertising revenue, your donations help us ensure we can cover those costs in order to keep the site going.

In recent years, readers have made donations ranging from $5 to $100 to help defray these costs. We even had a handful of big donations over that amount, and ultimately raised about $8,000 in 2016. Thanks so much to everyone who chipped in!

While we've remained free, other prospect sites charge for content. For example, Baseball America charges $66 per year and Baseball Prospectus’s prospect coverage costs $40 per year at the first tier. We think those sites are great and are absolutely worthy of subscriptions. We’d also like to think that our content would be worthy of comparable rates if we ever decide to go that route, but we've decided that we want to keep the site running for free for as long as we can. Donations from regular readers go a long way towards making that happen.

Ultimately, through August 5, we are asking our readers to donate what they can to help keep SoxProspects.com free to the public. If you want to donate, first, we would like to thank you profusely – it’s truly appreciated. To donate, visit our DONATIONS PAGE. All payments are secured through PayPal, although you don’t need a PayPal account to contribute. All of the donations will go directly to our costs – while we reimburse ourselves for travel and IT costs, none of the owners have taken any actual profit distributions out of the site's tills over the last ten years (obviously, we’re not doing this to get rich!).

As many of you may have seen, there is also a second way to donate this year, more specifically tied to the SoxProspects Podcast. Patreon allows SoxProspects Podcast listeners to support the site by donating on a per episode basis - $1, $2, or $5 per episode. We provide “rewards” for each donation level. For $1 per episode, supporters get a private RSS and audio feed of the Podcast and get their questions to be read on the show moved to the front of the queue. For $2 per episode, donors also get their name listed with other supporters on the Podcast archive, as well as access to a quarterly exclusive chat with the SoxProspects brass. For $5 per episode, donors also get a personal shout-out during each episode and the ability to be a call-in guest on the Podcast after hitting a threshold of $50 in donations. (Note that we may tweak rewards over the course of the year as we get more accustomed to what our listeners want). Thank you so much for everyone who has already donated at Patreon!

Last, to any of our regular readers that are not members of the SoxProspects Forum, please sign up! We’d love to get some new members in on the discussion and some new ideas floated around during our peak season! 

As always, thanks to all of our readers for visiting the site and all of our forum members for posting!

The SoxProspects.com Team